17 December 2015

[ The God of Grey // Shalom Hope. ]

I can feel it coming.  

It's a strange thing.  Somehow I must subconsciously know it's coming - or else i wouldn't feel as I do.  And when I feel it -- it's a totally sinking, dropping, nervous, anxious feeling.  Then, I look at the calendar and say ... 

"Oh right.  December 17th is almost here."

Loss has a way a rearing it's ugly head, even when you're not thinking a thing about it ... 

Every year I write about the passing of our daughter, Shalom Hope  ... in fact for this year? This would be the third draft.  It just never feels right.  The first draft I wrote was focussed on how unfair I still feel it is - having to undergo a pregnancy termination for a 21-week-gestation-baby who was desperately wanted.  Anencephaly ... there are no words in the english language to describe such a diagnosis ...  ( be warned // if you click that link, disturbing images may be seen ).   (Or -- if you don't know our story you can read that here ... )  But as I wrote my words down today, I felt the anger and frustration all coming back - and honestly - I really don't like that feeling that way all.  So I deleted it.

The second draft ... was kinda what my life's theme has been, as of late.    If you know me, I talk a lot about the God of Grey.  Perhaps this is my own way of dealing with some of my own life's circumstance.  Or maybe it's how I deal with a cruel world with my far-too-sensitive-heart.  Maybe my theologically is messed-up on that.  But I was taught that the roots of my Faith are black and white ... right or wrong.  No in-betweens.  Yet in my life, I have experienced that my God, my Father,  is a God of grey ... the things that maybe we don't know exactly what the right thing actually is.  For me, He is Just.  He is love.  He is compassion and broken hearted for how we fail to include Him.  He is grace and mercy and kindness.  After Shalom, I have found myself tending to go with extending my own grace to others, because I'm more inclined to believe now that, perhaps, His grace fills in that gap of the unknown.  Life experiences do that to you.

I know.

That gets me into heaps of trouble just by saying that.  But - don't be fooled.  I am a black and white kinda girl.  There are things that I know to be right, and things I know to be wrong.  But this life is full of things that may not be so simple.  I won't even list all the things that come to mind - there's no need to debate it *smile*.  Because at the end of it all, I am thankful for a God who is love and who loves me.

Who loves you.

It's strange.  When I sit and type about Shalom ... it's like ... it's like it's all happening all over again.  Without the overwhelming panic, of course.  Time has dulled that  ... and you know what's so strange?  Is that I remember, honestly, trying to figure out how I would survive the next five minutes of my life - the grief was so drowning ... and now?  I can actually smile when I say her name.  Sometimes I cry, but mostly - I don't.  I survived - and more than just survived - I learned and I am so grateful, now that I look back.

Does that seem strange?  That I'm grateful?

Well.  I am.

Without Shalom's story, my life would be nothing like it is now.  Without Shalom, I would never have the empathy for others that I have now.  The compassion for the broken, the marginalized.  Because of my own loss, I have found my way to being a fixture at Recovery Church.  It's a HUGE part of who I am ... not only because I see myself in every one of the faces in the crowd, but because of the solid friendships that have come from being a part of RC.  Yes, I see myself in every man + woman who comes to RC because the only difference between me and them, is that they chose substances to bandage their pain.  And tho I contemplated those very thoughts, I was saved by having a relationship with the Lord and by my village of family and friends around me.

I don't see people who use substances as poor-choice-makers, as low-lifes.  I see them with lives so broken, that using was their best given option.  I am thankful for those kind of eyes to see them with ... I think that's a gift worth being thankful for.

So yeah -- another year gone, but I will be totally honest.  I'm looking forward to Dec18 ... so these seemingly-never-ending-butterflies and restless nights will be gone.  I'm pretty sure I don't dwell on it ... but it's still unintentionally there, and time has a way of making the loss less ugly each year.  Isn't that an amazing thing?  I mean - when we go through something horrible, if we can hang on --- eventually it dulls.  Maybe not entirely, but time does have healing properties to it.  I'm grateful for that.

I guess where this is all leading to - is to remind us all that when we think the pain of life is literally going to shatter you ... it actually won't.  Not if we reach out.  Not if we accept help.  Not if we push aside our pride and be vulnerable with those we love.

I'm still smiling, after thinking that I would never smile again.  I literally believed that.  And thinking I would never be able to do anything again - without reliving our story in every painful detail.  That is so far from the truth.  You live, you learn - you grow.


I realize that this is a bit all-over-the-place.

Probably because that's how I'm feeling.  


Unknown said...

This was perfect Tania. Thank you for sharing this. I know your story from reading it before and it's heartbreaking and one I could never fully comprehend because it's your story. God is good and does fill in those empty spots. What I do understand is how God gives you sight to see others in a new light when you have gone through very hard and tragic times and softens your heart. May God bless you today, tomorrow and always in His way!


Margot said...

Tania, I did not know. Thank you for your Heaven-sent insight into the bruised, broken, disparing and the broken-hearted we have all around us, and in the very middle of us. Thank you for staying close to Jesus and sharing your heart as you have done.

Blessings upon you, sistah girl!

margot maines